Jeepers Creepers! Now that is One Ugly Fish.
The pacific halibut may not be the prettiest fish in the ocean, but they damn sure put up a hell of a fight and with the right sear, they can be one of the tastier fish to hit the plate.
But seriously, what’s with their funky look?
Well, like a child before puberty, halibuts grow into their gawky disfigured stage naturally. They are born from eggs that are released by mature halibut at depths of 600 to 1500 feet. Once the eggs are released, they rise to shallower waters After fifteen days they hatch and are moved around by the Pacific current for the next six months. During this period the young halibut feed on plankton.
The crazy thing is, that during those first six months the halibut’s body is bilaterally symmetrical – meaning, that like a human body and most fish, they have right and left matching sides.
It’s not until the six month mark that one side, the right starts to become more dominant. The fish begin to swim differently and their fins adjust. The top side, the right side, begins to change colour into a dark greyish brown, a colour blend similar to the ocean floor. It’s underside remains white. This fish then drop to depths appropriate for ground fish.
During this process, the halibut’s left eye slowly moves to the right side, becoming more bulbous for periscope protrusion from the sand. While the eyes move across the face, the mouth remains in its original position. This means that the halibut jaw actually bites sideways.
And you thought pimples and body hair were hard to deal with…
At the end of the day, who cares what they look like, as long as they are in the boat. Because when it comes to eating, their are few white fish that compare to the flaky deliciousness of a halibut fillet seared in the pan.